Maria Molinaro

My name is Maria Molinaro. In the Fall I will be going into my Junior year at Tennessee Temple University to pursue a Bachelors degree in Deaf Studies and Interpreting. By obtaining this degree I will be able to continue on the path to be a courtroom interpreter for the deaf.

This scholarship will help to lessen the stresses caused by my financial situation. I currently am living with my single mother who works full time. My mother is unable to contribute to my education because my father unexpectedly passed away recently.

About a year ago, I tried to work full time and go to school in order to save money for my education. Working these many hours caused my grades to slip, which subsequently caused me to have to drop out of school.

It was a low time in my life, which caused me to run away from this situation. I spent last summer in Tennessee where I fell in love with not only the southern culture, but the southern deaf culture. I came back to New Jersey to continue on at Union County College and I applied and transferred to Tennessee Temple University this past Spring.

Growing up with a learning disability made me understand the importance and benefit of reasonable accommodations needed for communication and comprehension. My experience in education has taught me the injustices caused by incompetent and under qualified professionals. I plan to never promote unjust practices. Therefore, I want to completely immerse myself in deaf culture, as well as continually educate myself on the ever changing field of American Sign Language.

I can’t thank Kids’ Chance of New Jersey enough for awarding me this scholarship. I now can pursue the journey that will lead me to my dream of being a sign language interpreter without the worry of financial stresses.